Saturday, December 31, 2022

Top Ten: Old Lace


I probably should have twisted on a longer lens, but I do like this one enough to place it in to this year's Top Ten, and my favorite photo of the year.

I took the shot the morning of May 12.  Workers were refurbishing the clock/steam whistle tower atop the old Scranton Lace complex.

Perfect blue sky, brilliant sunshine, and a nice shot for the Top Ten.

Regular blog readers know I mostly shoot landscapes and buildings.  A "people" shot is rare.

As in past years, I knew this one would be at or near at the Top Ten the moment I loaded it in to my computer and took a close look.

By the way, I have to update you on Scranton Lace soon.  The project is making amazing progress.

Well, that's all for this year's Top Ten.  Thanks for dropping by.  With any luck, we'll all be here to do it again next year.

Have a happy and safe new year's eve!

Friday, December 30, 2022

Top Ten: Frozen in Time


Regular blog readers know that I love long exposure shots, especially when it comes to the light trails that nighttime traffic forms.

Sometimes, I jump to the other side.

I took this picture of a fountain in Olyphant the morning of May 12.  My shutter speed was 1/2500 of a second.  Every drop of water coming from the fountain's top bowl is frozen in time.

This little park and fountain are where my most hated 6th grade school once stood.  I'm glad there is beauty at the scene of such soul crushing horror.

Tomorrow, my favorite photo of the year, and things are looking up.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Top Ten: Fogged In


Admittedly, this isn't a great shot, but there is something about it that I like.  It's my blog and I make the rules.

This one was taken on an early morning in mid March.  I'm on the O'Neill Highway bridge over Interstate 81 in Dunmore, looking north.

As much as I enjoy shooting light trails, this one is all about the pattern the fog makes in the lights over the interstate.  The oddly remind me of theater spotlights.

Tomorrow, it's a shot frozen in time.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Top Ten: Streaky


The photo you see above gets in on a technicality.  I shot it the morning of December 31, but it didn't appear on the blog until January, so it counts.

I was doing one of my favorite things, shooting light trails.  The location was Route 315, where it meets Keystone Ave. and Oak St. in Pittston Township.  It was about 3:15 in the morning and there was plenty of traffic.  Apparently, it was shift change time at one of the businesses in the massive industrial park.

Inside baseball:  there are the telltale signs of a small aperture in the form of a starburst effect with the street lights.

Needless to say, I just love doing this.

I played with light trails again at the end of January.  Above, it's Interstate 81 and the Central Scranton/Biden Expressway veering off to the right.  The shot was taken on the Route 307 overlook above Scranton, very, very early in the morning.

Long exposure photography has become one of my favorite things to do.  You don't have to rely on the weather for a good shot, and it's always an adventure because you have no idea what type of traffic will pass before your camera while the shutter is open.

Tomorrow, Lackawanna County's London.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Top Ten: Bridge and Leaves


I really didn't do much leaf peeping this year.  There were a lot of demands on my time in the fall.

I managed to get out on the morning of October 20.  Peak leaf color had come and gone, but I still like this shot quite a bit.

I'm along the Susquehanna River, shooting an old railroad bridge from the West Pittston side.

Spectacular?  No.  However, it's a nice bright shot on a beautiful fall morning.

I know people in our area spend a lot of time discussing the old mining days.  Let's not forget the railroads.

It's a look at a favorite activity tomorrow.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Top Ten: The River


June 23rd marked the 50th anniversary of the Tropical Storm Agnes flood that devastated the Wyoming Valley, plus river side points above and below.

In late May, I used the approaching anniversary as an opportunity to take a look at the river.  This is the early morning view from Nesbitt Park on the west side of the Susquehanna, looking back on the Wilkes-Barre skyline.  This is where the Market Street bridge crosses the water.

The river was running low, with barely a ripple in the water.  It's difficult to believe that the Susquehanna grew to more than a mile wide, in the summer of '72.

We'll go upstream tomorrow.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!


The Top Ten countdown takes its traditional break for Christmas.

This is a shot of the nativity scene at the entrance to Marywood University in Scranton.  yes, it appears here just about every year, and this photo is new.  We don't have enough nativity scenes, especially ones as nice as this.

I hope you have a great holiday and please take a moment to reflect on what the day is all about.

We'll talk tomorrow.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Top Ten: Windy Buds


Today, it's a trip back to January 17th.

This is a screen grab from Newswatch 16 This Morning.  I was reporting on a storm and was stationed outside our Wyoming Valley Newsroom.

The storm was more than snow, ice and rain.  It also brought gusty winds.  A banner had blown off the front of our new neighbor, a cannabis store.  Photographer Erich Granahan retrieved it as it rolled down the street, and I used the banner as a visual aid, to illustrate the power of the wind that morning.

This was my first winter storm reporting more than a year, and I have to admit I had great fun doing it.

It's a break for Christmas tomorrow.  The Top Ten resumes with a beauty shot and more distant memories tomorrow.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Top Ten: Before and After


Olyphant officials had been considering tearing down the old Tate Theater for quite a while.  The building was falling apart.  Demolition was the only option.  I took the photo above in mid May.

The demolition crew arrived October 24.  I took the photos you see below on the 26th.

After its theater days, the building was a well known pizza restaurant, then a Chinese restaurant, and finally a place to house a slot car layout.

A lot of people in the mid valley were sad to see the demolition.  Me?  Indifference-- at best.

I spent a lot of 6th grade lunches here.  I hated everything about 6th grade, so I didn't get any sad, warm and fuzzy feelings when the building came down.  I thought the pizza was average, and not particularly memorable.  It's all overshadowed by the miserable 6th grade experience.

When I wandered around the rubble back in October, I was surprised at how small the building seemed.  I remembered it as much bigger when I was a kid, but youth gives you a warped sense of scale.

It looks like there will be a pocket park here, maybe even a fountain.  It's too bad the building couldn't be saved.

Yes, two demolition days in this year's Top Ten.  It was a year for losing landmarks.

Tomorrow, more weather woes.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Top Ten: Spring Snow


On the surface, this looks like your average northeastern Pennsylvania snow storm photo.

Here is what makes it a little different.  It was taken on the morning of April 19th.  Yes, we had some days in the 70's, but winter decided to make a comeback.

The shot is on Centre Street in Freeland, looking toward the intersection with South Street.

Freelend received four inches of snow.  Parts of our northern tier received a foot, and some lost electricity for days

Less than one week later, we were back in the 70's.

I enjoyed the morning, even though I could do without the spring snow.. 

Tomorrow, the unforgiving claw and some distant memories.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Top Ten: Demolition Day


Today, it's a couple of photos from the morning of October 20.  It's the demolition of the former WNEP building, adjacent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

I never worked here, but it was a dream for a long time.  There was some sadness as I watched the claws tear in to the place.

I eventually begged long enough for someone in management to hire me.  The WNEP Moosic facility is a fine one, but I can't help but think of the old place any time I roll down the interstate.

Tomorrow, winter hangs on.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Top Ten Preview


It's that time of year again-- a look back at some of my favorite photos of the year.

As always, some are not examples of breathtaking photography, but they do mean something, at least to me.  

It's nice to take a look back and reminisce.  It also fills a couple of slow weeks at the end of the year.

There will still be comments on the news of the day, if it warrants.  You can find them here, or on Twitter (if it's still around), Facebook or Instagram.

We'll bulldoze in to the #10 photo at midnight.

Thanks for being here all year long.  It's hard to believe this is the 14th year for the photography review.  As Tom Snyder used to say, relax and watch the pictures as they fly through the air.

Monday, December 19, 2022

More Trees


It is my usual mid/late December blog issue:  too many pictures and not enough space.  The yearly Top Ten countdown begins tomorrow.  I have some pictures in the queue that need to be published.  I put a few on my Facebook page over the weekend.

Here's one.  It's a different angle on the Lackawanna County Courthouse Square Festival of Trees that I featured here a couple of weeks ago.  This is actually a camera phone shot that I took in the middle of the night.  I really have to learn to travel with some good gear at my side, but the phone did a great job of capturing the color.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Andy's Angles: Dunmore


The official Dunmore Christmas tree has a new location this year.  It's been moved from a vacant lot on Drinker Street, to a bank parking lot on Blakely Street.  I'm told the move was necessary because the Drinker Street lot will soon be developed.

Regardless, it's a lovely tree, and because it's in a parking lot, it's easier to park, stop and admire.

There is another benefit.  The tree is nearly directly across the street from a high rise for the elderly.  It's now very easy for the residents to look out their windows to get a quick dose of holiday cheer.  It's also across the street from a post office, so at least you have something to look at while you stand in line.

They did a nice job with this one.  The tree has clear lights, but the wreath at the top changes colors.

I'm on team multi color, but I do really like this tree.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Andy's Angles: The Courthouse


Regular readers know there are a lot of things about Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton that I don't like, but that goes on hold at Christmas.

The building looks great, lit up in Christmas colors, and with the big tree to the right of the main entrance.

Sky conditions usually don't mean a whole lot at night, at least with my amateur status, but I feel the gloomy grey in the upper left adds something to the shot.

Friday, December 16, 2022

We Need a Break


It's been a rough few weeks.  Let's leave the sadness and weighty issues behind for a little while as we head in to a weekend.

This has become one of my favorite Christmas trees.  For the 9th year, Volunteer Hose in Throop has put up a tree near its building on Dunmore St.

The tree brightens up a dark night.  I pass this one all the time, and I'm happy it's there.

Thursday, December 15, 2022



It's Sleeping Homer's last appearance of 22.  Yes, I'm on vacation.  While it seems like I've been off a lot lately, it's just bad clock management on my part.  I should have taken more time off earlier in the year.  In fact, there are a couple of days that I can't fit in on the schedule before the end of the year.

Most of my Christmas stuff is done, but there is always something unexpected that pops up.  No big deal.  I have the time to handle it, even though I will lose a few days due to bad weather.  That's the hazards of a December vacation.

As always, no plans.  I'll likely catch up with a friend or two and get some rest.  I hope there is a little time for photography.

The weekend morning broadcasts are in good hands.  I'll be back on TV Christmas Eve morning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Wednesday Scrapple


Swiss is an underrated cheese.  It's tasty without being overwhelming and it works everywhere.  Yes, I've given it too much thought.

It seems like I didn't get as many Christmas catalogs this year as I did last year.

11 days until Christmas, and I've already had my fill of Christmas music.

At one time, I had to have a Kleenex or Puffs.  Now, I'll use sandpaper if it's around, and it seems like every jacket pocket is filled with napkins from the mini mart.

In that vein, other than a fast food sandwich, I haven't had breakfast "out" in a very long time.

Toys for Tots public service announcements never fail to rip my heart out.

It's amazing how many news sources you can live without when they disappear behind pay walls.

And, if Twitter goes away tonight, the sun will still rise tomorrow.

Any racism makes me sad.  It's magnified when you see kids as the perpetrators.

Food Network:  Enough with the holiday baking competition shows!

There are some really great Christmas displays out there-- fun and festive without going overboard.

The reality of winter sets in the first time you see snow on the ground.

I think I would be only a fair "Jeopardy!" contestant.  I have too many weaknesses, especially in religion, the arts, literature...   However, the Monday night Final category was Latin Phrases.  I nailed it while all three contestants missed it.  I was so happy!

My duties and responsibilities yesterday forced me to travel through a heavily commercial area.  Yikes!  Add a snowy forecast to the Christmas rush and you have a royal mess.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Norm and the Times


Radio is different today because of Norm Pattiz.

The radio executive died last week at the age of 79.

Pattiz was a programmer and syndicator.  He eventually took control of the Mutual Broadcasting System.  MBS was the dog of the networks for a long time.  Larry King kept it on the air when it really should have been out of business long ago.  Pattiz, who named his company Westwood One, also had NBC Radio in its stable.  By the time Westwood One acquired it, the luster was gone.

In addition to establishing and acquiring shows and networks, Pattiz accumulated a lot of debt.  Others stepped in to run the company.

If you heard a weekend music countdown show, there is a good chance it came from Westwood One.

One other media note...

There was a one day work stoppage at the New York Times last week, and there is still the possibility of an all out strike.  The last one was in 1978.

At one time, WNEP was a New York Times property, and I enjoyed being part of such a legacy and heritage-- both locally and on a corporate level.  Like most print based company, the Times had problems transitioning in to the internet age.  It is said to be doing well in that department.  The media landscape has changed so much in recent years.  I hope the management and the union come up with an agreement to keep the workers happy and position the company for successful competition in a strange new world.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Derry & Me


Retired news anchor and weatherman Derry Bird died Friday at the age of 86.  Please allow me to tell you about my friend.

I remember Derry coming through my tv in the early 70's.  I can still see those long sideburns and his calm, steady reporting on WDAU during the Agnes flood.

Derry reported and anchored here for around 30 years.  I have great respect for people like Derry, along with the great Debbie Dunleavy, Kent Westling and several others, on and off camera.  They kept WDAU going during the difficult late 70's and 80's, when the owners allowed the station to fall in to disrepair.  The competition passed the old channel 22 and never looked back.

Even though I spent most of the 80's on the road for WARM, I didn't meet Derry until I hooked on at WYOU in 1990.  I am always cautious when meeting people I admired on TV.  You hope they are as nice as they seem.  I worried for nothing.  Derry was the real deal-- kind and professional on TV, and just as nice in person.

Derry did the weather on the first newscast I ever anchored.  I remember taking off my jacket when the broadcast ended.  There was more sweat than dress shirt.  It would have been worse if I didn't have Derry at my side.  He was such a calming influence, and it was nice someone just feet away had my back.

It was much the same way during the flooding of January 1996.  We were short on people on a Saturday morning.  I wound up on the anchor desk.  Part of my duties were a 2.5 hour live and unscripted newscast.  People like producer Eileen Kennedy made it work.  There was major help from reporters David DeCosmo and Melissa Becker Sgroi.  Derry was on the newsroom set with me, giving the forecast and the river levels.  There was ample time to talk about the weather, the environment and what appeared to be our increasingly flood prone area.  It was my favorite part of the morning-- just two broadcasting vets talking about what we observed.  Derry did it in that warm and conversational style that he mastered.  I don't think it was a deliberate effort.  That's just the way Derry was.

After a tumultuous couple of years on my end, I produced the WYOU morning news for eleven months in 1997 and 1998.  While I produced here and there in previous years, this was my first full time producing assignment.  To say the least, it was a rough time.  I was still finding my way around.  New management made resources lean.  Derry walked in one morning to see me sitting at my keyboard, disheartened, dejected, and struggling.  He put his hand on my shoulder and uttered the words I'll never forget.  Derry said "Relax.  You're among friends."

I remember Derry being very patient when I screwed up my copy.  The name of the newscast changed to "This Morning" from "Daybreak."  Old habits die hard.  I tripped up Derry a few times by writing "Daybreak."  Eventually, I figured it out.

There were times I got playful when writing a script.  Derry didn't like that.  He'd print it out and walk over to my desk.  As he handed me the paper, Derry would ask "Would Cronkite say it that way?"  I'd always change it.  I don't want an anchor uncomfortable with the copy.  I liked Derry.  More importantly, I respected Derry.

I believed I took good care of that broadcast and gave it the stability it needed.  Derry was a great guy to bang out a newscast with.  When channels 22 and 28 merged, I was told my services were no longer required, that my position wasn't being funded, whatever that means.  My lawyer got a good laugh out of that one.  It was a very creative dismissal.

I ran in to him a few years after I moved to WNEP.  Derry said he could always recognize a newscast I produced by the crisp writing and the high story count.  It was one of the nicest compliments I ever received.  He got it.

I last saw Derry a few years ago.  He and his lovely wife Nancy were at a Memorial Day observance in Dalton.  We chatted briefly.  I was on a deadline and had to scoot, but not before saying that I left in a rush in 1998, and I never said "thank you."  Derry asked "For what?"  I replied "Everything."

I meant it then.  I mean it now.  Derry, thank you for everything.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Andy's Angles: Providence


It's a little more Christmas to round out the weekend, and it's another tree I manage to visit on a yearly basis.  This one is at Providence Corners in Scranton, near the intersection of Market and Main.

This section of Scranton isn't what it used to be.  Most of the retail has disappeared.  Some legendary restaurants are now gone.  There are still a couple of places to grab a bite, along with a watering hole.  I'm glad there is still a little Christmas cheer left in the neighborhood.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Andy's Angles: Pittston Tree


In just a short amount of time, this Christmas tree has become one of my favorites.  It's in the Tomato Festival lot, along Main Street in Pittston.

Yes, it's big, metal, and plastic-- but it reminds me of one of those late 60's, early 70's shopping mall Christmas trees, back when malls were cool.

It's a beautiful sight, and I make it a point to visit downtown Pittston every Christmas season.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Footballs and Frostys


We're going around in circles a bit today.  Please follow along.

I was sitting in a fast food restaurant the other morning.  As I ate my spicy chicken sandwich, I saw an ad on the window for FOX Big Noon.  In case you're not familiar, FOX took a noon Saturday college football game, added a snazzy pre game show, acquired big match ups and they made it work.  Noon was always the home of lesser games, but the whiz bang FOX marketing department managed to make it in to an event.  Bravo!

That started me thinking about the impending increase in teams participating in the college football playoffs.  Four now.  12 in a couple of years.  That's insane.  It adds another week or two to an already long college football season.  The concept of the student athlete disappeared years ago, and it's an even bigger joke now.

Of course, it all comes down to money.  Schools get a boost.  The networks get more commercials to sell.  Follow the money.  Always.

And while I was in the fast food restaurant, I decided to try the new peppermint Frosty.  A friend and coworker gave them the "thumbs up."  She said the flavor was just enough.  It wasn't over the top.  I agree.  The peppermint wasn't overwhelming.  However, I thought it had an odd medicinal taste, like Pepto Bismol, even though that product is wintergreen, not peppermint.

It wasn't as good as the strawberry experiment of the summer, but take my advice.  Stick to chocolate.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

It. Defies.Analysis!


It was one of those stories I had to read multiple times because I just couldn't believe it.

Police in Taylor are looking for the guys who placed a credit card skimmer on an employee manned register at Walmart in Taylor.  Police say it took only seconds to install, but here's the part that's unbelievable:  NO ONE NOTICED IT FOR TWO WEEKS!

I can understand if the skimmer was at a gas station, where bandits sneak in during the dead of night to install the skimmer when no one is around.  But, this was a crowded big box stores, with cameras everywhere.  Police suspect one guy installed the skimmer while the other three distracted the cashier.  I get that.  There is just so much here that makes absolutely no sense.

You would think a store with people all over the place would be safe.  Guess again.  So many cards are tap-and-go now.  Obviously, we need more, along with better technology in stores.  Walmart also needs people to make the rounds to check their machines on a regular basis.

I guess you aren't safe anywhere these days.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022



I was very saddened to read Kirstie Alley died the other day.  Cancer is a horrible disease, and 71 is far too young to go.  Alley was a talented, attractive and funny woman.

She has a place in my heart because she was a game show person, having appeared on Match Game and Password Plus in the 70's.

An earlier blog entry pointed out all the things that keep me out of the mainstream.  Today, we can add another.  I didn't like Cheers.

I thought the first few years were mildly amusing.  The Sam, Coach, and eventually Woody characters were likeable.  Diane became annoying, and Cliff was even worse.  Norm was a one joke character.

I will give Kirstie Alley credit for replacing an established character in a popular series and making it work.  That's tough to do, especially in a comedy.  Mike Farrell and Harry Morgan did it on MASH.   Woody Harrelson did it on Cheers.    I'm sure there are other success stories, although I can't recall them.

My sympathy is sent to Alley's family, friends and fans.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Home to Roost


I remember when CNN first appeared on my cable system.  It was several months after its June 1980 debut.  Regardless.  It was like crack for a news junkie.  News in the morning.  News in the middle of the day.  Prime news!  CNN used to produce some outstanding sportscasts.  I loved it.  I couldn't take my eyes off it.

The years passed, and I think we took CNN for granted.  We went there when something major happened.  Otherwise, it was background noise.  FOX hit the scene with some solid newscasts, but also some opinion based programming.  That programming struck a chord with a big section of the American population.   CNN's ratings suffered.  Forgetting that the view is better from the high road, CNN embarked on its own brand of opinion based programming.  The ratings suffered.  CNN clearly was delivering a product people didn't want.

The chickens have some home to roost.

CNN last week axed a bunch of people and there are more to come.  It's sister network, HLN, has been gutted and it will have no live programming.

As an aside, I loved HLN when it was known as Headline News, and it delivered 48 half hour newscasts a day.  It was a great way for a quick news fix and an easy avenue to get up to date, and fast!

HLN's Robin Meade and her "Morning Express" is among the casualties.  Meade and that show were only the most watchable person and show on either network.  I hope some other organization realizes her value and talent, and snatches her up quickly.

New CNN management is apparently trying to drag the network back to the middle, and that's a good thing.  I'm sorry some good people are paying the price for the bad management of the past.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Unfinished Monday


Regular blog readers know I like trains.  Congress last week stepped in to try to avoid a rail strike set for later this week.  It's funny how we don't realize the value of freight trains until we are on the verge of losing them.

Two days late, but Luzerne County finally certified the results of the midterm election.  We still don't know why things went off the rails (another train reference) last month.  I have no doubt the district attorney will do a fair and thorough investigation.  Still, the optics would have been a lot better is someone from outside the county handled the probe.

Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie died last week.  79.  Songs from the glory days of Fleetwood Mac are as good and timeless as anything every produced in this era.  Think about it.  So many of Fleetwood Mac's hits fit in on rock stations, adult contemporary stations, oldies stations, top 40 stations...  Few groups or individuals accomplished that.

"Parade" disappeared from the Sunday newspapers last month, as was noted here.  Now, the Washington Post is ending its Sunday magazine section.  Ten people lose their jobs, and a once great newspaper becomes less great.  It's just one more reason to drop that subscription and get your news somewhere else.  The business is its own worst enemy.  Give people a reason to buy the paper.

On that same note, CNN axed a bunch of people last week.  That one deserves an entry of its own.  Tomorrow.

I recently prattled on about GSN's original productions.  Some are pretty good.  Others are awful.  I watched the latest, "Tug of Words," a few times last week.  It's actually a fun little game.  There some issues, but there is potential here.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Andy's Angles: Trees on the Square


I have no desire to decorate.  I don't have the skills to do it.  I do enjoy looking at the work of others.

Here are five of the trees that are part of the Festival of Trees on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton.  There will be 25 trees here, each decorated by a different organization.  It's part of a Toys for Tots fundraiser.

It's a nice glow on a dark night.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

About the Cover


The December blog header is always a challenge.  The goal is to present something Christmassy, but many of the big displays don't get rolling until after December 1.  By the way, I have no problem with that.  An extended Christmas season makes the time less special, at least to me.

The borough of Throop has upped its holiday game in recent years.  This is a photo of the municipal building.  Santa, and the snow man at the far right wave.  I used a long exposure to capture the hands in different positions.  There was a bonus in the header photo, as an SUV passed by and created some light trails for me.  The building at the far left is the police station.

In retrospect, I tried to do a little too much here.  The shot is wide.  My sin is trying to capture the entire property.

A special shout out to the police officer who stopped to ask me what I was doing when I was taking this photo, a little after 2 AM on Black Friday morning.  I thought a giant camera on a tripod in front of me was a dead giveaway.  Hey, she was just doing her job.  I'm glad, and secure in the fact that she cared enough to stop to ask.

Happy holidays, and please have a safe month!

Friday, December 2, 2022

In Appreciation


I don't watch a lot of television, and most of what I do watch (except the news) is old.  Some things jumped out at me while doing a little channel surfing in recent weeks.

There was a "Soap" marathon on Antenna TV just before Thanksgiving.  The first two years were great.  The last two were a little too "out there" for me.  One thing, or one person, is constant, Katherine Helmond.  She played Jessica Tate and hit every scene in which she appeared out of the park.  There were light moments.  There was some downright daffiness.  She could do the sad and dramatic scenes, too.  Helmond never received her due for her work on "Soap."

I loved "Barney Miller" from the pilot to the finale, and I do manage to catch an episode or two most days.  The performances, all of them, were great.  What strikes me when I watch again is the quality of the writing and the timing of the delivery.  Jack Soo didn't have many lines, but he added so much to that show.

Two of the main "Scrubs" characters are now in a cell phone commercial, leading to even more speculation there will be a reunion show, a limited series, or a movie.  The talk has been out there for years.  It's seemed to increase in intensity lately.  Even though "Scrubs" is one of my favorite shows of all time, I wish they would just leave it alone.  You can't go back.  You can't improve it.  Just sit back and marvel at some great episodes.

GSN recently put the original "Card Sharks" and "Family Feud" back on the schedule.

"Card Sharks" was one of those shows where everything worked.  It was a simple and fun game, easy to play along at home.  Great set.  Great theme.  Great host, Jim Perry.  He moves the game along and appears to have fantastic fun doing so.  I always believed Jim Perry's hosting skills were underrated.

Richard Dawson WAS "Family Feud.  The producer in me timed it out the other day.  Dawson is introduced.  He plays kissy touchy feely with the contestants, and it's a whopping six minutes before they actually start to play the game.  I know Dawson's charm was part of the attraction, but SIX MINUTES before the first question!?!?  Unreal.  Drew Carey is taking bids on "The Price is Right" less than one minute after appearing on stage.

But the big story is GSN greenlighting a new version of "Split Second."  The show first appeared in the early 70's with Tom Kennedy.  It was tough for a contestant because you had to be smart and fast.  It must have been a bear to host because the game moved so quickly.  I want to have high hopes here, but most GSN original productions are rather cheesy.  There are some exceptions.  Years ago, "Inquisition" was fantastic.  "America Says" is a fun way to spend a half hour.  "The Chase" is very good, and I really don't like what ABC did with it.  "Master Minds" is a good quiz.  The Chuck Woolery version of "Lingo" was great.   On the other hand, "People Puzzler" is exceptionally stupid.  "Chain Reaction" is a good game with poor execution and they seem to seek out the dumbest contestants to play. "Catch 21" and "Common Knowledge" needed better hosts.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Counting the Days


It's time for my annual thing that helps me trudge through a long, dark, cold winter.

Do the math.  The three coldest months of the year are December, January, and February.  It's roughly 100 days, so that makes every day during those three months one per cent of the roughest season of the year.

It's similar to the "one foot in front of the other" principle.  One day at a time.  It eventually ends.

I saw some long range forecasts.  They generally call for a slightly warmer and slightly milder winter.  You know how I feel about those things.  With apologies to my meteorologist friends, it's, at best, a guess.  Any forecast period of anything longer than one week just doesn't work for me.  How about that viscous hurricane season they predicted in the spring?  How many hit the USA?  Two?  Granted, Ian was a biggie, but the atmospheric Armageddon never really materialized.

It's strange to say, but I don't dread winter as much as I once did.  You will find the days move faster as you age.  When you're a kid, the school year seems like an eternity.  It takes forever to get that drivers license.  The time crawls before you can get into a bar to have a drink.  After that, ZOOM!

The cold can be dealt with.  Grab that puffy coat and a hat.  Snow, well, not so much.  Stay home if you can.  Drive carefully if you can't and make sure your vehicle is in good shape.

I'll be counting the days.